Understanding Excellence

by Christopher Baker '70

I came to Williams to interview in the fall of 1965, largely due to my prior friendship with Professor John Eusden of the religion department. I had just come from a negative interview experience at Amherst. I fell in love with Williams at first sight, I still feel very fortunate to have been admitted there. I lived in Morgan West as a freshman, and some of the friendships I made then have persisted for 55 years. Later (as a JA), I was able to experience the relative chaos of the Frosh Quad.  

I still value the opportunities that I gained as the result of a liberal arts education at one of the (if not the) finest small colleges in the United States. As a chemistry pre-med major, I was able to take a number of courses in the religion department, fom superb teachers including H. Gans Little). The first women transfer students graduated with our class.. The Winter Study program (another innovation by President Jack Sawyer ’39) started in 1968 when I was a sophomore.  In 2017, I returned to teach a Winter Study course, which allowed me to observe the many advances that had transpired at my alma mater in the intervening 47 years since I had left the Purple Valley.

If I had to use one word to describe Williams, it would be excellence. Those of us fortunate enough to attend Williams College understand what that means. 

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